What is a Lymphatic?

In folk medicine, these herbs were considered “blood purifiers”, as lymphatic herbs have an ability to move lymph and can increase lymphatic flow moving fluid and protein away from areas of inflammation so that fresh lymph (rich in oxygen and nutrients needed for tissue repair) can replace it. When the lymphatic system becomes congested, lymph nodes swell and lymphatic drainage becomes sluggish, which greatly impacts immune system surveillance and the removal of waste products (by-products of metabolism) from body tissues and the circulation. Thus these herbs play a vital role in helping the body fight infection and relieve inflammation, swollen glands, and edema (i.e an accumulation of interstitial fluids), while supporting the health of the body as a whole.

How Lymphatics Work

The precise mechanism of action of herbal lymphatics has not been fully elucidated, however several constituents are considered to be implicated including coumarins & lectins, which may stimulate the production of B & T lymphocytes, increase capillary perfusion, and decrease tissue inflammation while improving elimination of metabolic waste through the kidneys due to diuretic & circulatory stimulant effects.

Herbal Examples:

  • Calendula officinalis (Marigold)
  • Galium aparine (Cleavers)
  • Ceanothus americanum (Red Root)
  • Phytolacca spp. (Pokeroot)
  • Trifolium pratense (Red Clover)
  • Zanthoxylum spp. (Prickly Ash)